Author Topic: Thinking of trying this  (Read 1100 times)

Offline redrocker652002

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Thinking of trying this
« on: February 13, 2022, 09:07:54 am »
I brew 5 gallon batches and keg it, but lately have thought about doing 2.5 to 3 gallon BIAB and bottle it.  I think my 5 gallon pot will hold enough to do a 2.5 to 3 gallon batch.  My question is, do I take a 5 gallon recipe and cut it in half?  Or is that making it too simple?  LOL>

Offline denny

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2022, 09:12:29 am »
No, you're correct.
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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2022, 09:33:54 am »
Thanks, it just seemed too simple.  LOL.

Offline denny

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2022, 10:07:53 am »
Thanks, it just seemed too simple.  LOL.

Homebrewing is a lot simpler than many make it out to be.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2022, 01:28:02 pm »
I grin every time I hear someone say all grain brewing is ‘advanced’. I mean really, you’re soaking crushed grain in hot water at a certain pH for a certain time and then draining the sugar water off the grain. It’s not really all that ‘advanced’ IMO. I think people make this way more complicated than it is.

After all, Ancient Egyptians, Medieval Monks, and Alewives brewed beer in very rudimentary breweries. It’s only advanced in the technology used and scientific understanding. ...but it happens despite us even when we use basic equipment and have no idea about the science behind it.

To the point: I think BIAB is a great option for you. You’ll figure out what kind of efficiency you get on your system once you brew a few times. Based on your system you might need 45% or 55% (or more or less) of a 5 gal recipe. Brew a few times and you’ll figure that out pretty quick when you consistently over-/under- shoot OG.

That’s where brewing software comes in so handy. Set up your brewery profile, take any recipe and plug the numbers in, and *presto* have the software spit out your recipe. It can be done by hand but the software makes it so much easier IMO.

Offline denny

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2022, 01:32:56 pm »
I grin every time I hear someone say all grain brewing is ‘advanced’. I mean really, you’re soaking crushed grain in hot water at a certain pH for a certain time and then draining the sugar water off the grain. It’s not really all that ‘advanced’ IMO. I think people make this way more complicated than it is.

After all, Ancient Egyptians, Medieval Monks, and Alewives brewed beer in very rudimentary breweries. It’s only advanced in the technology used and scientific understanding. ...but it happens despite us even when we use basic equipment and have no idea about the science behind it.

To the point: I think BIAB is a great option for you. You’ll figure out what kind of efficiency you get on your system once you brew a few times. Based on your system you might need 45% or 55% (or more or less) of a 5 gal recipe. Brew a few times and you’ll figure that out pretty quick when you consistently over-/under- shoot OG.

That’s where brewing software comes in so handy. Set up your brewery profile, take any recipe and plug the numbers in, and *presto* have the software spit out your recipe. It can be done by hand but the software makes it so much easier IMO.

I brewed for 20 years before ever thinking about pH or other water stuff.  Made great beer, won a lot of ribbons . Sure water stuff can maybe make it better, but you can go simple and just ignore that to an extent.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2022, 03:00:33 am »
So, I found a Elysian Space Dust clone recipe that I was thinking of trying.  Cutting the grain bill in half gave me about 8.375 pounds of grain.  Using the formula of 1.25 quarts of water to 1 pound of grain I come up with a little over 2.5 gallons of water I start with, which is my ending volume.  I know some of it will boil off during the boil, but does that sound about right?  I guess I can sparge a small amount of water thru the grains to make my boil amount to be about 3 to 3.5 gallons, right?  I am thinking of giving this a try next weekend just for the heck of it. 

Offline Megary

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2022, 07:18:49 am »
I don't think this is what you're asking, but this might help (or not).  I BIAB exclusively in a basic pot/kettle.  System losses are something that took me a bit to dial in, but once I got there, I can pretty much guarantee how much beer I will put in the keg. This is a bit rudimentary, but you'll get the idea...

If I wanted to make your above beer, this is how I would calculate my full mash volume:

Grain weight (lbs) - 8.375

Mash Volume = Goal + all losses

Goal = 2.5gallons into keg

+ Grain absorption (.11gal/lb) = .92125gal
+ Boil Off (.67gal/hr) = .67gal
+ Kettle Loss (fixed) = .625gal
+ Fermenter Loss (fixed) = .5gal

Full Mash Volume = 5.22 gallons

The grain absorption and boil off are what I have found to be consistent numbers on my system, though absorption really comes down to how long and how hard you want to squeeze the bag.  I squeeze just enough to hit my pre-boil volume and then quit.  Kettle losses are a bit fungible as well depending on how much trub you leave behind. Some dump their entire kettle, trub and all (0 kettle loss).  Others will leave different amounts behind.  (There is also a "shrinkage loss" that is a bit of a unicorn to me, where your post boil volume at 200°+ will be somewhat less once cooled to yeast pitch temperatures.  I have no idea what this number is so I just kind of lump this into "Kettle Loss".)  And, of course, Fermenter loss is how much gunk gets left behind at packaging.  I rarely need to leave behind a full 1/2 gallon, but I play it safe.

So, if I were brewing your beer, I would be using an 8-gallon kettle.  Of course, you can mash thicker and sparge to get to your pre-boil volume.  (My pre-boil volume is always 4.3 gallons, assuming I want 2.5 gallons in the keg).  You can also just accept less than 2.5 gallons finished beer as well. 

I spent many brew sessions trying to increase efficiency and limiting system losses.  I learned a lot of things, but it felt like I was just chasing my tail.  The loss numbers above may look bad (or good) to another brewer, but they are stone cold predictable for me.  And in the end, that's all I'm looking for.  YMMV.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2022, 09:09:27 am by Megary »

Offline MNWayne

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2022, 08:23:15 am »
Would you mind sharing that Space Dust recipe?
Far better to dare mighty things....

Offline denny

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2022, 08:25:12 am »
So, I found a Elysian Space Dust clone recipe that I was thinking of trying.  Cutting the grain bill in half gave me about 8.375 pounds of grain.  Using the formula of 1.25 quarts of water to 1 pound of grain I come up with a little over 2.5 gallons of water I start with, which is my ending volume.  I know some of it will boil off during the boil, but does that sound about right?  I guess I can sparge a small amount of water thru the grains to make my boil amount to be about 3 to 3.5 gallons, right?  I am thinking of giving this a try next weekend just for the heck of it.

Yep, that will work.  You could also mash thicker and use more sparge water.  Hard to say if one is a better choice than the other.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2022, 09:02:52 am »
Would you mind sharing that Space Dust recipe?

I found a couple, but this is the one I am thinking of doing.  The other one was a 6 gallon batch which would be a bit much even cut in half for my 5 gallon brew kettle. 

https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/408434/elysian-space-dust-variant

Right now, I am still in the Clone recipe arena, other than a recipe Denny sent me that was very good and I will be making again and not screw it up LOL. 
My Blind Pig clone from Austin Brew Supply is still ageing in the keg, but I took a small amount, and it is actually pretty good, and I screwed that one up and didn't get all the particles out, so it is a bit hazy, but the taste is there. 

Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2022, 09:05:56 am »
I don't think this is what you're asking, but this might help (or not).  I BIAB exclusively in a basic pot/kettle.  System losses are something that took me a bit to dial in, but once I got there, I can pretty much guarantee how much beer I will put in the keg. This is a bit rudimentary, but you'll get the idea...

If I wanted to make your above beer, this is how I would calculate my full mash volume:

Grain weight (lbs) - 8.375

Mash Volume = Goal + all losses

Goal = 2.5gallons into keg

+ Grain absorption (.11gal/lb) = .92125gal
+ Boil Off (.67gal/hr) = .67gal
+ Kettle Loss (fixed) = .625gal
+ Fermenter Loss (fixed) = .5gal

Full Mash Volume = 5.22 gallons

The grain absorption and boil off are what I have found to be consistent numbers on my system, though absorption really comes down to how long and how hard you want to squeeze the bag.  I squeeze just enough to hit my pre-boil volume and then quit.  Kettle losses are a bit fungible as well depending on how much trub you leave behind. Some dump their entire kettle, trub and all (0 kettle loss).  Others will leave different amounts behind.  (There is also a "shrinkage loss" that is a bit of a unicorn to me, where your post boil mash volume at 200°+ will be somewhat less once cooled to yeast pitch temperatures.  I have no idea what this number is so I just kind of lump this into "Kettle Loss".)  And, of course, Fermenter loss is how much gunk gets left behind at packaging.  I rarely need to leave behind a full 1/2 gallon, but I play it safe.

So, if I were brewing your beer, I would be using an 8-gallon kettle.  Of course, you can mash thicker and sparge to get to your pre-boil volume.  (My pre-boil volume is always 4.3 gallons, assuming I want 2.5 gallons in the keg).  You can also just accept less than 2.5 gallons finished beer as well. 

I spent many brew sessions trying to increase efficiency and limiting system losses.  I learned a lot of things, but it felt like I was just chasing my tail.  The loss numbers above may look bad (or good) to another brewer, but they are stone cold predictable for me.  And in the end, that's all I'm looking for.  YMMV.

Wow, thank you very much for the write up, that is awesome.  But unfortunately I only have a 5 gallon pot at this time, so I am going to have to try something else I guess.  But I really do appreciate your input, that helps a lot when I get a bigger pot, maybe a 10 or 15 gallon. 

Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2022, 09:08:10 am »
So, I found a Elysian Space Dust clone recipe that I was thinking of trying.  Cutting the grain bill in half gave me about 8.375 pounds of grain.  Using the formula of 1.25 quarts of water to 1 pound of grain I come up with a little over 2.5 gallons of water I start with, which is my ending volume.  I know some of it will boil off during the boil, but does that sound about right?  I guess I can sparge a small amount of water thru the grains to make my boil amount to be about 3 to 3.5 gallons, right?  I am thinking of giving this a try next weekend just for the heck of it.

Yep, that will work.  You could also mash thicker and use more sparge water.  Hard to say if one is a better choice than the other.

Thank Denny, I appreciate your input.  I guess if I come up short I can always just add water to the wort when it goes into the fermenter, right?  My goal is to have a little over 2.5 gallons in the fermenter and 2.5 gallons at the end to bottle and have as a second beer.  If I like it, then I will do a 5 gallon batch when my keg is empty.  LOL. 

Offline denny

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2022, 10:56:09 am »
So, I found a Elysian Space Dust clone recipe that I was thinking of trying.  Cutting the grain bill in half gave me about 8.375 pounds of grain.  Using the formula of 1.25 quarts of water to 1 pound of grain I come up with a little over 2.5 gallons of water I start with, which is my ending volume.  I know some of it will boil off during the boil, but does that sound about right?  I guess I can sparge a small amount of water thru the grains to make my boil amount to be about 3 to 3.5 gallons, right?  I am thinking of giving this a try next weekend just for the heck of it.

Yep, that will work.  You could also mash thicker and use more sparge water.  Hard to say if one is a better choice than the other.

Thank Denny, I appreciate your input.  I guess if I come up short I can always just add water to the wort when it goes into the fermenter, right?  My goal is to have a little over 2.5 gallons in the fermenter and 2.5 gallons at the end to bottle and have as a second beer.  If I like it, then I will do a 5 gallon batch when my keg is empty.  LOL.

Personally, I brew to gravity, not volume. My own decision to add water is based on if I'm over gravity, not under volume.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Thinking of trying this
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2022, 02:49:28 am »
So, I found a Elysian Space Dust clone recipe that I was thinking of trying.  Cutting the grain bill in half gave me about 8.375 pounds of grain.  Using the formula of 1.25 quarts of water to 1 pound of grain I come up with a little over 2.5 gallons of water I start with, which is my ending volume.  I know some of it will boil off during the boil, but does that sound about right?  I guess I can sparge a small amount of water thru the grains to make my boil amount to be about 3 to 3.5 gallons, right?  I am thinking of giving this a try next weekend just for the heck of it.

Yep, that will work.  You could also mash thicker and use more sparge water.  Hard to say if one is a better choice than the other.

Thank Denny, I appreciate your input.  I guess if I come up short I can always just add water to the wort when it goes into the fermenter, right?  My goal is to have a little over 2.5 gallons in the fermenter and 2.5 gallons at the end to bottle and have as a second beer.  If I like it, then I will do a 5 gallon batch when my keg is empty.  LOL.

Personally, I brew to gravity, not volume. My own decision to add water is based on if I'm over gravity, not under volume.

Thanks, I guess I have not gotten that good yet.  LOL.  I am working on it though